Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ukraine Crisis: Soldier in Crimea Confirms to BBC He's Russian

More evidence has emerged to contradict Russian president Vladimir Putin's claim that soldiers in Crimea aren't Russian military, but rather local pro-Kremlin "self-defense" forces.

This BBC story today says a Russian-speaking soldier guarding a Ukrainian military airfield in Crimea disclosed he is a Russian citizen.

Soldiers without insignia had taken over the airfield a few days before.

It has since become the scene of a stand-off between heavily armed Russian-speaking soldiers and unarmed Ukrainian military pilots, who Tuesday staged a march demanding their jobs back.

"Don't come here any more," the Russian-speaking soldier -- who appeared to be in command of the other soldiers -- is quoted telling the BBC's reporter. "After all, you and I are Russian citizens. I don't want to shoot my own people."

The soldier later told the reporter, "Olga, you and I will still meet again in Moscow."

The reporter also noticed a tattoo on the back of the soldier's hand that said "za VDV," a tattoo of the elite Russian airborne forces (known as "VDV").

Other images and video of Russian hardware in Crimea have also emerged to contradict Putin's claims.

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